The Houston Astros win the ALCS opener with Justin Verlander's 11 hits
HOUSTON (KTRK) — When it came to praising Justin Verlander's performance in the Astros' 4-2 victory over
the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Wednesday night, the Astros were ready to go beyond the spectacular.
As Verlander struck out 11 batters in six innings and surrendered only one earned run, echoes of "first-ballot Hall of Famer" and "Ace" could be heard around the Astros clubhouse.
The 39-year-old Verlander wasn't sharp early on, coming off one of the worst playoff performances of his long career,
surrendering six runs on ten hits in the opening game of the Division Series against the Seattle Mariners.
When the Astros fell down in the second inning after Harrison Bader singled, Verlander responded by striking out the next 11 Yankees in a row, including nine punch-outs.
Verlander's 11 strikeouts gave him his ninth double-digit strikeout game of the postseason,
an MLB record. Verlander also became the freshmen strikeout king, breaking Clayton Kershaw's mark with 219 career strikeouts in the playoffs
The Astros advanced to 10-5 all-time versus the Yankees in playoff games, including a 7-1 mark at Minute Maid Park.